Spinach is a generic term for certain vegetables and may refer to plants from five different families including English or common spinach. In Western Australia, the term spinach normally refers to English spinach. This is less vigorous with smaller leaves than silverbeet. It is also softer and has a green rather than white midrib. It is a lot less heat tolerant than silverbeet. It is a minor crop in Western Australia that has traditionally been consumed as a boiled or steamed green vegetable. As a cooked vegetable, it has now been largely displaced by Asian vegetables. Demand has increased recently since it is more commonly consumed in pre-prepared salad mixes.
For the year ending June 2020:
1. 7,080 tonnes of English spinach was produced and valued at $19.9 million with 7% sent to processing.
2. The wholesale value of the fresh supply was $20.7 million, with $13.3 million distributed into retail and $7.3 million into food service.
3. 25% of Australian households purchased these categories, buying an average of 157 g of English spinach, silverbeet and kale per shopping trip.
4. The supply per capita was 244 g, based on the volume supplied.
Predominantly, this vegetable is produced in the Lockyer Valley and Sunraysia.
There is minimal trade of fresh English spinach, although Australia’s exports have been increasing recently. For the year ending June 2020, Australia exported 256 tonnes. There is currently no trade occurring in fresh silverbeet.
For the year ending June 2020, 32% of exported spinach was sent to Singapore, as profiled in the chart below.